Next Step Program Information

    Mission Statement:

    The Next Step Program (NSP) prepares students to achieve a high level of independence as they prepare to enter adult life. Through a transition partnership with parents, program staff, and community resources each student can achieve their greatest potential.




    Program Overview:

    NSP is a community based-program designed to help students realize their full potential as contributing members of the communities in which they live. The programs are located in community settings within the Mat-Su Valley and are administered by the Mat-Su Day School. The program’s main emphasis is on the development of personal goals that will enable them to become as self-sufficient as possible. Using a combination of school and public transportation, the NSP enhances each young adult’s ability to access the community and available services. Job training opportunities provide a key to each student’s future success.


    Program Objectives:

    • Expand Work Maturity Skills
    • Determine career options through the exploration of community-based job and training opportunities
    • Increase self-determination of community leisure and recreational pursuits
    • Develop personal management and independence that can be applied to the home environment
    • Foster a network of social relationships
    • Establish connections with community-based resources to provide on-going support


    Program Requirements:

    The NSP is designed for students who have a current IEP and have participated in high school special education programs (i.e. self-contained/intensive resource and behavioral support programs)    

    Potential NSP students must also meet the following requirements:

    • 18 years of age by the first day of the school year
    • Completed four years of high school
    • Minimum of one year of recreational and community activities*
    • Minimum of one year work experience; to include both school and community settings*
    • Demonstrate independence in personal care
    • Non-Diploma Track students shall participate in their boundary school’s graduation ceremony and receive appropriate certificate
    • Diploma Track students will participate in their boundary school’s graduation ceremony, however their transcript will be deferred until completion of NSP
    • Demonstrate acceptable social behaviors with minimal support with peers and adults:
      • Respond to/greet others
      • Interact with peers
      • Display appropriate behavior in most situations
      • Respect personal space
    • Demonstrate acceptable job behaviors with minimal support:
      • Follow multi-step directions
      • Complete assigned tasks
      • Cope with changes in daily routine, personnel, working conditions
      • Transition between jobs/tasks
      • Respond appropriately to redirection and feedback

    *by end of senior year


    Program Activities:

    A typical student day may include, depending upon need, some of the following activities on the school site:

    • Grooming and personal hygiene
    • Meal planning and lunch preparation
    • Management of personal budgeting and money skills
    • Community activity planning
    • Community transportation instruction and planning
    • Household safety and management
    • Self-advocacy
    • Friendships and other relationship issues


    A typical student day may include, depending upon need, some of the following activities in the community:

    • Work on a community job site
    • Community mobility/safety
    • Use of community recreational activities
    • Use of public transportation


    Referral Process:

    Each student’s IEP team will review all post school options as part of the transition process, including NSP. A referral for the NSP shall be made by filling out the attached application according to the Next Step Timeline on page four. Completed applications with the required paperwork attached shall be sent to the Mat-Su Day School. Final decisions for acceptance into the program shall be made at the administrative level.


    Next Step Timeline

    • During the student’s junior year, the case manager will discuss Next Step as a post-secondary option and outline the prerequisite skills that need to be worked on before their consideration for a community-based transition program.
    • During the student’s senior year, the Next Step teacher will attend the annual IEP to discuss Next Step as a post-secondary option and outline the prerequisite skills that need to be worked on before their consideration for a community-based transition program.
    • Parent(s)/guardians(s) and student complete a site visit to a Next Step program.
    • Completed parent application turned in to student’s case manager by the 1st Monday of December.
    • Completed applications and supporting documents for Next Step must be submitted by the case manager to the principal of the Mat-Su Day School by the 2nd Monday of December of the student’s senior year.
    • Applications will be reviewed by Mat-Su Day School principal and resource specialist or their designee. If more information is needed, the case manager will be contacted.
    • Case manager, parents, and students will be informed by the end of 3rd Quarter if they have been accepted into the Next Step program.
    • Students accepted will complete one or more visitations to the Next Step program. The boundary school case manager or assistant will attend with their student. This will be set up by the case manager and Next Step teacher.
    • An IEP meeting will be held at Next Step during the 4th Quarter to draft goals specific to the Next Step program related to employment, social participation, personal management, and independent/supported living.
Last Modified on November 15, 2022